Friday, April 03, 2009

Cambodia says Thai soldier injured by landmine in its territory


The Cambodian government said Thursday that a Thai soldier was injured in a landmine explosion in Cambodian territory in the morning.
Phay Siphan, spokesman of the Council of Ministers, told Kyodo News that the landmine, left over from the country's civil war, exploded at 8:20 a.m. around 600 meters inside the border with Thailand.
Phay Siphan claimed the explosion occurred when some 30 Thai soldiers intruded into the area known as Eagle Field.
Col. Chan Sokhon of the Cambodian military said the Thai soldier, who suffered an injury to his left leg, was flown out of the area by a Thai military chopper at 9:20 a.m., and the other Thai troops also returned to their previous position soon after.
There was no immediate reaction or comment from the Thai government or military.
On Tuesday, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said he had given the ''green light'' to military commanders to take action if Thai troops encroach into Cambodia 's territory.
Eagle Field is located about 2 kilometers west of an ancient temple on the border, which sparked a tense standoff between Thai and Cambodian troops last year.

April 02, 2009

Thai foreign minister apologizes to Hun Sen for 'gangster' gaffe

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya has apologized to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen for describing him as a ''gangster,'' it was learned Thursday. In a letter addressed to Hun Sen, a copy of which was seen by Kyodo News, Kasit said, ''Do kindly accept my deep apology for such an unfortunate incident and the unintentional cause of misunderstanding.'' In the letter dated Wednesday, Kasit said that the word he used in the Thai language means ''a person who is lion-hearted, a courageous and magnanimous gentleman.'' The letter of apology follows criticism by Hun Sen of Kasit for using ''hardly accepted words'' against him and a request for a clarification or apology. ''He insults me by calling me a gangster,'' Hun Sen said in Sihanoukville on Tuesday. ''I'm not angry with you, but please use dignified words.'' Kasit was accused by the Thai opposition of calling Hun Sen a ''gangster'' during an antigovernment protest in December. Kasit, however, later replied by rephrasing his comments to call Hun Sen ''a gentleman who has the heart of a gangster.'' Also Thursday, in a letter of response, Hun Sen said he was relieved by the letter of apology from Kasit.
KyodoApril 02, 2009